File this away under unexpected connections: The Washington D.C. Metro announced on Monday that it would stay open an hour later so that fans attending Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Capitals and Lightning could get home safely. What it didn’t announce was the stranger than fiction reason why Thursday will have extended hours.
On Tuesday, the businesses Exelon and Pepco footed the $100,000 fee to keep the Metro open after Game 3. That’s capitalism, it’s good branding, it makes sense. On Thursday, however, the country of Qatar will be keeping the lines open for fans, which raises a lot of questions, all of which start with “why?”
Lines normally close at 11:30, meaning that for an 8 p.m. start it could be difficult to get a lift home. With the additional funding, the Metro runs until 12:30, giving fans a bit of a cushion to catch the train once the game is over.
Qatar, for those who need a refresher, is predominately in the headlines in the sporting world for its controversial status hosting the 2022 World Cup. Metro Board Chair Jack Evans has spearheaded talks between a U.S. delegation and Qatar/the United Arab Emirates. Those talks were conducted with the hope that foreign investors could help with projects in D.C. they were interested in, according to The Washington Post. Apparently, Evans’ efforts paid off — although who knew Qatar would be so interested in hockey?